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Do You Need to Wash Your Hands in Hot Water?

Do You Need to Wash Your Hands in Hot Water?

Posted by | 08-02-2021

For most people, hand hygiene is basically muscle memory. The basics of handwashing never change: use soap and water, and scrub thoroughly for a sufficient length of time. Despite this, questions often arise about whether it’s better to wash your hands with warm water or with hot water.

When it comes to a thorough, germ-free clean, most people probably know — and have been told — to wash their hands with warm water. Warmer temperatures kill harmful bacteria, and with the help of soap, ensure that your hands are thoroughly cleaned. Let’s take a look at why washing your hands in warm water is the best option, and how to build an efficient hand washing routine.

Why Washing Your Hands with Warm Water Is the Best Choice

Interestingly, hot water that is comfortable enough for washing hands is actually not hot enough to kill bacteria alone. However, warm water is more effective than cold water at killing bacteria because it’s much better at removing oils from the hands that these bacteria often like to call home.

For most people, washing their hands with warm water is likely to be a more comfortable experience than washing them with cold water. Since an important factor for really keeping hands clean is to wash them as frequently as possible, a comfortable water temperature will make it more likely for someone to wash their hands as often possible. So, sticking to washing your hands with warm water is an easy way to create a hygienic routine.

It’s All in the Technique

Still not convinced? The Center for Disease Control (CDC), while often reminding the public of the life-saving benefits of handwashing, stresses the importance of using a correct handwashing technique.

Part of this technique is to use flowing water to avoid contaminated stagnant water. Additionally, scrubbing with soap for at least 20 seconds to effectively remove microbes from the skin (the same length as everyone’s favourite song, “Happy Birthday!”), and making sure to turn off the running water when not in use to conserve clean water and energy.

Why Soap Is Important

Once you have the correct technique down, it’s important to make sure you’re using the right soap to wash your hands. Overall, there is no real difference between antimicrobial soaps and other soaps. That being said, it’s generally wise to avoid foam soap, as the air that is injected into bottles to make soap foamy can dilute the product’s effectiveness and cleaning power.

Liquid soap is possibly your best option, as many brands of this type of soap contain moisturizing agents. This means your hands will not dry out as much when they are being frequently washed. According to studies, the amount of soap you use doesn’t really matter as long as you are washing your hands thoroughly.

Use Portable Hand Washing Sinks

Basic hand hygiene is practically muscle memory for most people by now, but these healthy habits are often disrupted when there’s no working plumbing system. While it’s easy to practice proper and frequent hand washing in indoor washrooms and kitchens, outdoor and remote locations pose a challenge. And while rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer are always handy, they’re no match for the real deal — a thorough scrub with soap and running water.

Portable handwashing sinks are becoming increasingly common. These sinks are a welcome addition to many outdoor and even indoor locations with no plumbing access. Portable handwashing sinks can also be installed as additional handwashing stations to promote better hygiene in high-traffic areas, effectively reducing wait times — and reducing incidences of protocol neglect — in crowded washrooms and kitchens.

The best part about portable hand washing sinks is their hassle-free use. These sinks require little to no setup: simply roll them to the desired location, fill up the water tanks, and plug them in for use. With high-volume water tanks and built-in soap and paper towel dispensers, these sinks help ensure better hand hygiene, so a lack of a working plumbing system is no longer a barrier to cleanliness and safety.

Cold and Warm Water Portable Sinks

Portable handwashing sinks come in a range of options and modifications. Many sinks offer both cold and warm water to ensure comfortable hand washing.

A double-basin portable sink can be used for both hand washing and equipment cleaning, the latter requiring warm temperatures for thorough decontamination. This portable sink setup is beneficial in outdoor locations like food trucks, construction sites, parks, concerts, and festivals that require hand washing and cleaning according to health and food safety codes.

To learn more about portable handwashing sinks, call Ancaster Food Equipment at 866-711-5486, or contact us here.

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